Tabari (English) 40 volumes
Subject: Great translations of a seminal work of historical reconstruction
In a few cases there are other available translations but I have always found these to be the best, as well as having excellent introductions that make it a bit easier to navigate through the welter of events, persons and places from a very remote time. In my experience, the enormous cast of characters is not at all unusual in medieval writing (compare Ming Dynasty novels or Icelandic sagas) as is the frequent presence of adventure and violence. Al-Tabari handles it all with aplomb.
I have mixed feelings about the availability of these writings for free on the Web, as the publisher (State University of New York Press) should benefit by their sale, to encourage them to continue such extraordinary projects.
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